A Job for Roy–Murphy’s Law or Divine?
Posted by happypizza on March 16, 2010
Times right now are hard for many people. Layoffs, foreclosures, poor health, and family breakups plague people of all ages and cause many to feel utter despair, while others exude joy and peace in spite of these adversities. My friend Roy is such a person. Even though the vicissitudes of life have kicked him a lot lately he carries a smile on his face and speaks a peaceful word to everyone.
We met last summer at the local employment office. While searching online for work I heard a melodious baritone voice make the following inquiry from a nearby computer, “Do you have a pencil I may use?”
Looking up from my computer monitor, I surveyed the room for the source of this wondrously resonant voice. Directly across from where I was seated was Roy, a slender, modestly-dressed gentleman who, like me, was out of work. This gentleman appeared to be someone well-acquainted with hard physical labor, yet he spoke as a genteel scholar with flawless grammar.
Curious, I inquired as to the type of work he was seeking. He informed me that he was searching for ministerial jobs across the southeastern U.S. Roy is a minister now, but in his former life he was a university professor and an assistant to the Governor of the State of Florida. Previously married with a fine house and furnishings, Roy now lives a simple life unfettered by most of the stuff that the rest of us have, want to have, or used to have. The uninformed observer would say that Roy was down on his luck, but Roy would never say that.
Throughout our entire conversation, a radiant smile graced his face. Roy had recently returned to his hometown after years of living elsewhere. His car had broke down somewhere across town, and he had it towed to his home. He told me that as he walked to the auto parts store to get the parts he needed to make the repairs, someone stole the car from his yard.
After his car disappeared, he learned that it had been taken to the local recycling place. In dismay, Roy investigated the matter and discovered that his car had become part of a large wad of mangled metal along with several other demolished vehicles. The recycling center had purchased his vehicle as scrap. The thief had the money. Roy had no car.
When the offender was identified, Roy asked the police whether they would pursue the matter. Both the police and the state prosecutor told Roy he had no case. Now wheel-less but not hopeless, this major setback did not stop Roy. He said, “Well, that’s just how life is.”
A few days later, Roy was given a bicycle. He would bike to job interviews and to perform the few temporary jobs he would get here and there. One day, he pedaled to the employment office. As was his practice, Roy locked his bike with a chain and padlock, while searching online for work. When he was ready to leave, he mounted his bike to ride off, but remembered that he had left his hat at the computer. In the few moments that it took Roy to retrieve his hat, his bike was stolen.
Once again Roy was the victim of a transportation thief. Did Roy get angry? No, he decided that the thief must have needed the wheels more than he. Roy commented, “I still have two good legs and feet to match. I can walk.”
A few weeks went by before I returned to the employment office. When I arrived, a mutual acquaintance asked me if I had heard the latest about Roy. She told me that Roy was given a new motor scooter. The day after he received the motor scooter, he decided to ride it to a job interview. Unfortunately, the scooter was electric and had lost its charge.
Amazingly, as Roy began pushing the motor scooter down the road, a “Good Samaritan” drove by and offered him a ride. Placing the scooter on the back of the Samaritan’s pickup the two men proceeded on their journey. At the very first red light the truck had to slam on its brakes, which caused the truck’s tailgate to fly open. Roy’s motor scooter landed hard on the pavement and was irreparably damaged. Poor Roy, once again he had to rely on his own two feet to get wherever he wanted to go.
After hearing of Roy’s misfortune, I asked the preacher why he was the victim of these events. He then reminded me of Job’s friends who wanted to know why all those terrible things plagued only Job. My response to him was, “Your name’s Roy, not Job!” His response: “God in all ages has men who are righteous that are persecuted. Their life stories are a testimony to the goodness that is God despite the misfortune of their circumstances. We are reminded that bad things can and do happen to good people. We should be prepared for what may happen to anyone of us.”
Upon hearing that, I told Roy that I just had to share his story.
–Marya R. Latson